VIENNA (Reuters) - Saudi Aramco is "strongly interested" in a refining project with Indian state refiners, Dharmendra Pradhan, India's oil and gas minister, said on Monday.
"We're talking to our Saudi Arabian colleagues to invite investment from Aramco," Pradhan said at a Vienna press conference after meeting with Mohammad Barkindo, secretary general of The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
"We want to create a global refining industry hub in India."
India, one of the world's largest energy consumers, has sought to diversify its supply of not only crude but also gasoline and other refined products.
India, which has repeatedly pressed OPEC members for oil price stability, has offered staff and other technical assistance to Aramco, Pradhan said.
Barkindo, who took the top role at OPEC last year, did not directly address the potential Aramco investment in India, but said the group looks forward to rising Indian appetite for OPEC crude.
"Our member countries look forward to continued demand growth in India," Barkindo said.
Reporting by Ernest Scheyder, editing by Louise Heavens